We need more fruits and veggies than we thought

Five a day is not enough. To add years to your life, eat 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, say British researchers, who have found that packing our diet with everything from apples to zucchini lowers our risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death. Ten a day is such a powerful recipe for good health and longevity that the team from Imperial College London estimates that if everyone around the globe did this, a staggering 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide would be avoided every year. To arrive at this conclusion, the Imperial College London scientists analyzed 95 previous research studies that included almost 2 million people. How much is 10 servings a day? It’s about 800 grams of produce. This translates to 10 small bananas or apples or 30 tablespoons of cooked spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower. Which types of produce are most beneficial? The greatest health benefits were found with apples, pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower) and green and yellow vegetables (such as green beans, spinach, carrots and peppers). While the current recommended amount is five portions of fruits and veggies, 10 portions are better. If that seems too much for you, don’t despair. Even two servings a day can make a difference in your health, reducing your risk for heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death.